Taxpayers Rights: How to Challenge a Decision By the IRS

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When dealing with the Internal Revenue Service, taxpayers have certain rights listed in the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. The IRS wants every taxpayer to be aware of these 10 fundamental rights. One of these includes The Right to Challenge the IRS’s Position and Be Heard.

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You have the right to challenge IRS actions or proposed actions with supporting documentation. The IRS will consider these objections quickly and fairly and provide a response. 

Here’s what you can expect when you challenge a decision by the IRS.

If the IRS notifies you that your tax return has a math or clerical error, you have 60 days to tell the IRS that you are disputing the error. You should also provide copies of anything to support your claim. If the IRS agrees, the agency will make the correction and send you a new notice with updated information.

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However, if the IRS does not agree with your dispute, the agency will send a notice proposing a tax adjustment, or a statutory notice of deficiency. This notice will explain why your tax is being increased and give you the right to petition the U.S. Tax Court but you must file a petition within 90 days of the date on the notice or 150 days if you live outside of the U.S.

If the IRS notifies you of plans to levy your bank account or property, you may have the ability to request a hearing before the Office of Appeals. According to the IRS, conferences with the Office of Appeals are informal and may be conducted by correspondence, phone, video conference or in person. This may help avoid a court trial.

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If you need any help, make sure to call the number listed on your IRS notice or bill.

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About the Author

Josephine Nesbit is a freelance writer specializing in real estate and personal finance. She grew up in New England but is now based out of Ohio where she attended The Ohio State University and lives with her two toddlers and fiancé. Her work has appeared in print and online publications such as Fox Business and Scotsman Guide.
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